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Finding the Perfect Gift by shopping locally 

ShopLocalBannerIf it seems like your gift list gets longer with every holiday season, you’re not alone. With our expanding networks and shrinking world, there are more opportunities than ever to add names to your to-buy list, and more ways than ever before to find the right gift.

But as you’re crossing names off your shopping list, don’t forget to get your local community the gift it needs: commerce! By shopping local during this holiday season, you can do so much to help boost our local economy and benefit every community member.

Sure, online shopping can be tempting, but did you know that a late night Amazon.com spending spree can actually hurt local retailers? When you choose to shop locally, you unlock a cascade of benefits according to a study released by the City of Modesto. Each dollar that is spent within Modesto city limits turns 3.5 times—that means that dollars spent at a local retailer like Slater’s Home Furnishings might help pay the wages of a local worker who then might use it to pay rent to a local landlord, who then might spend the dollar on milk at a local supermarket. This turning effect has a boosting influence on local business and industries, and can ultimately help the city build roads, support our local libraries and boost our economy in many other ways based entirely on local funds.

But shopping local doesn’t just end at retail, or when New Year’s rolls around. Chuck O’Brien, the founder and owner of O’Brien’s Market, says he is committed year round to utilizing local vendors from insurance companies and gas companies to vehicle sellers. “That’s the thing that makes our community a community,” says O’Brien. “We do as much as we can for our community.”ShoppingList

By shopping in Modesto or Stanislaus County, you can also help foster our area’s unique business and retail environment. When more people shop locally, it creates a more productive economic climate for entrepreneurs who can, in turn, bring more diverse items to market. So the more people who shop local, the more diversified our local market will be!

At Barker’s Music located on McHenry Avenue in Modesto, owner Kyle Barker says that he’s focused on providing benefits that can trump the lure of the internet. “People are surprised we can match the internet’s prices. On the more sophisticated keyboards, we can even show them how to use it. That’s not something you get from Amazon.” Barker’s business, which has been located in Modesto for nearly 40 years, is a testament to how much local shopping can do to keep fantastic businesses operating in the city. “We must be doing something right,” adds Barker “That’s why we’re still here.”

Shopping local is also good for the environment. That package delivered to your doorstep from an online shop might just come with a secret: a huge carbon footprint accrued from thousands of miles of shipping on airplanes, trains, trucks and large ships.

You’ve heard the good reasons why you should shop local this holiday, now Progress Magazine is proud to bring you a guide that is guaranteed to make shopping local the perfect way to get everyone on your list the gifts they’ve been dreaming of!

Just pick the category that suits your recipient best and choose from one of these fantastic local businesses (or many more!) that is owned and staffed by neighbors who are eager to serve you!

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